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When fundamentalist religion battles education

Meredith Tax – WNN Religion & Belief (WNN/OD/50:50) New York, U.S., AMERICAS: At a time when global warming requires that we do our most creative thinking, public education and free thought are under attack by both austerity programs and religious fundamentalism. So where are our new creative thinkers supposed to come from? When the city […]

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“Human rights & religion need each other” says NY Kairos Center expert

Larry Cox for openDemocracy – WNN Religion & Belief (WNN/OD) New York, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: Many human rights activists are secular and view religion as a problem, rather than as an ally. Although religion does often pose serious challenges, it also offers the human rights movement hope for renewal, along with greater legitimacy and impact. Human […]

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Myanmar women’s rights groups oppose Interfaith Marriage Act

Thin Lei Win for Thomson Reuters Foundation – WNN Religion and Belief (WNN) Bangkok, THAILAND, SOUTH-EASTERN ASIA:  A planned law intended to stop Buddhist women in Myanmar marrying non-Buddhist men is “a disgraceful act that would invite international ridicule” and violate women’s basic rights, a statement released by 97 civil society organizations said. The law, proposed […]

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Self-immolation suicides continue in Tibetan Autonomous Region China

WNN Religion & Belief (WNN) Gansu Province, Tibetan Autonomous Region, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, EASTERN ASIA: Another human casualty in the movement for religious rights in China’s Tibetan Autonomous region of Gansu province has occurred as a 43-year-old respected Tibetan monk from the Ashok Monastery named Tsultrim Gyatso committed suicide by catching himself on fire […]

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Australian Buddhist nun shares life & mind as a “river of energy”

Michaela Haas – WNN Religion & Belief (WNN) Sydney, AUSTRALIA, OCEANIA: Ven. Robina Courtin, a dynamic and renowned Australian teacher, has had a particularly turbulent life. Growing up as a Catholic girl in a violent, even abusive family, in Australia, she trained as a classical singer before embarking on a journey searching for “truth, the […]

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How much does religious opinion sway Brazil’s reproductive rights battle?

Gabriela De Cicco for AWID – WNN Religion & Belief (WNN) Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL, SOUTH AMERICA: Public pro/con discussions on abortion and reproductive rights for women are rising in Brazil as a possible new legislation known as ‘Estatuto do Nascituro’ (Statute of the Unborn Child) may soon be adopted into law. AWID – Association […]

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Greater religious diversity begins to get public support throughout Lebanon

Isabella Eisenberg – WNN Religion & Belief (WNN/CGN) Halba, LEBANON, WESTERN ASIA: Here, in the northern Lebanese district of Akkar, Catholic-Maronite, Sunni, Greek-Orthodox and Alawi villages are scattered all over the landscape. The Syrian border is a 15 minute drive to the north of the northern Lebanese town of Halba, and residents can hear shelling […]

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France denies burqa rights as Canadian Muslim women enjoy more religious freedom

Elsa Rizkallah – WNN Religion & Belief (WNN/CGN) Montreal, CANADA, AMERICAS: As the burqa controversy continues to make headlines in France, it is worth examining what France could learn from Canada, which has worked to reconcile freedom of religion with national security and women rights. Bills banning the burqa – a garment that fully covers […]

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Will the next Dalai Lama be a woman?

Michaela Haas – WNN Religion & Belief (WNN) Santa Barbara, California, AMERICAS: There is no hope for a female pope, but there might be one for a female Buddhist leader. When Pope Francis washed the feet of two young women during Easter, this provoked the criticism of conservative Catholics who pointed out that the liturgies […]

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The first time I met Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chodron

Michaela Haas – WNN Religion & Belief (WNN) Santa Barbara, California, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: Facing what scares us is Pema Chödrön’s signature topic. A glance at the book and audio titles of the most beloved female Western Buddhist teacher provides a first-aid kit for handling life: When Things Fall Apart, we have No Time to […]

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